Dim Mak Records

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Dim Mak
Dim Mak.jpg
Parent companyWarner Music Group
Founded1996 (1996)
FounderSteve Aoki
Distributor(s)ADA
GenreVarious
Country of originUnited States
LocationLos Angeles, California
Official websitedimmak.com

Dim Mak Records is an independent, Los Angeles-based record label, events company, and lifestyle brand founded by Steve Aoki in 1996. The label has released music under the genres of punk, indie rock, hardcore, hip hop, and electronic dance music.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

Steve Aoki started Dim Mak Records in 1996 at the age of 19, out of his college apartment at the University of California, Santa Barbara.[1][2] The label's first release was a 7-inch record by a hardcore punk band called Stickfigurecarousel.[3] The name Dim Mak is a reference to Bruce Lee's martial art Death Touch technique.[4] Prior to launching Dim Mak, Aoki was involved in the local hardcore punk scene. As a writer for a small zine, Aoki would often receive demos and albums to review. Meanwhile, he began hosting punk and hardcore shows in the living room of his college apartment, which came to be known as The Pickle Patch.[5] Hundreds of acts played in this early space, sometimes in exchange for a place to sleep for the night, including The Rapture, Jimmy Eat World, Atom & His Package, and more.[4] The relationships formed throughout these formative years served as a crucial foundation for what would later become Dim Mak Records. In 2001, Dim Mak released one of the label's first nationally recognized projects with the self-titled debut EP from Pretty Girls Make Graves. Following the success of this record along with The Kills’ Black Rooster in 2002, Aoki relocated Dim Mak to Los Angeles, initiating the label's second era.

Indie rock era[edit]

In 2003, Dim Mak began to build out its roster through the addition of indie rock artists, beginning with the U.K. band Bloc Party. After mailing Aoki a 7-inch of their track "She's Hearing Voices", the group signed to Dim Mak Records.[2] Shortly afterwards, Dim Mak entered into a partnership with VICE (a subsidiary of Atlantic Records), for the rights to Bloc Party, marking Dim Mak's first deal with a major label. Together, Dim Mak and Atlantic released Bloc Party's debut album Silent Alarm in 2005, which went on to sell over 350,000 physical albums.[3]

Electro era[edit]

As underground dance music began incorporating (which was coined electro at the time), Dim Mak shifted with the times and entered its electro era.[2] One of the biggest tracks of this era came when Steve Aoki collaborated with The Bloody Beetroots for "Warp 1.9", the lead single off their debut album Romborama. Thump placed the track at #19 on their 101 Best EDM Songs of All Time list and called it 'Perhaps the definitive track from that particularly fruitful period of hook-laden abrasiveness.'[6]

Around the same time, Dim Mak released an album from Mstrkrft titled Fist of God, which brought major pop and hip-hop collaborators into the electro scene.[7]

New Noise[edit]

New Noise is Dim Mak's new music discovery imprint that focuses on cutting-edge sounds from burgeoning artists across the genre spectrum. Launched in 2010, New Noise got its start as a compilation series highlighting fresh faces handpicked by Steve Aoki and crew. By 2015, the platform evolved into a bi-weekly, free-download platform based on singles.[8][9] Ghastly's underground house single "Every Night" was the first release of many under this format.[10] As of 2016, New Noise's current incarnation is a copyright free model that allows the budding community of Twitch gamers and amateur YouTube content creators to use New Noise music in their videos and live streams sans purchase or fees, all in exchange for linking back to the artists and their music.[11]

Music publishing[edit]

Steve Aoki founded Dim Mak Publishing in 2014, as the fourth division of the Dim Mak brand. Since its launch, songs from the Dim Mak Publishing repertoire have landed major sync placements across national advertising campaigns (T-Mobile, Acura), feature films (Sausage Party, Ride Along 2, Why Him?) and TV programs (Transparent, CSI: Cyber).[12] On August 9, 2017, Dim Mak Publishing announced that it had signed a global deal with Warner/Chappell Music, the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group. Warner/Chappell now administers the entire Dim Mak Publishing catalog, which includes a wide variety of dance/electronic works from songwriters such as Autoerotique, Garmiani, Henry Fong, Max Styler, Ookay, Quix, Shaun Frank, Stööki Sound, and Viceroy.[13]

Associated artists[edit]

Notes[edit]

Some Steve Aoki releases are co-released alongside Ultra Records as well as Dim Mak Records, however, they are officially categorized under the Ultra Records discography, it is also the same for other artists such as The Bloody Beetroots.

Events[edit]

Dim Mak events have featured performances from a diverse range of acts such as Migos, Lil Uzi Vert, Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk, Skrillex, Rae Sremmurd, Kid Cudi, Zedd, Lady Gaga, Waka Flocka Flame, Will.i.am, Dillon Francis, Diplo, Justice, Afrojack, Travis Scott, Bloc Party, Borgore, Yellow Claw, and Steve Angello.

Dim Mak Tuesdays[edit]

From 2003 to 2014, Dim Mak held weekly events, also known as, Dim Mak Tuesdays event at Dim Mak Studios (previously known as Cinespace) in Hollywood, CA. The list of artists who have performed at Dim Mark Tuesdays includes Lady Gaga, Justice, Diplo, will.i.am, and Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter.[15][16][17]

Festival Stages[edit]

To date, Dim Mak has hosted branded Dim Mak Stages at major music festivals around the world, including:

Year Event title Ref.
2009 Get Loaded, London [18]
2010 Electric Daisy Carnival, Las Vegas [19][20][21]
Playground, Jakarta
We Love Sounds/Winterland Soundsystem, Australia
2011 Tomorrowland, Belgium [22]
Beatpatrol, Austria [23]
Optimus Festival, Lisbon
Future Music, Australia [24]
2012 Electric Daisy Carnival, Las Vegas [19]
Beatpatrol, Austria [23]
2013 Tomorrowland, Belgium [25]
TomorrowWorld, Atlanta [26][27]
Electric Zoo, New York City [26]
Beatpatrol, Austria [23]
2014 TomorrowWorld, Atlanta [26][27]
Tomorrowland, Belgium [28]
2015 Tomorrowland, Belgium [29]
Tomorrowland, Brazil [29]
2016 Electric Zoo, New York City [30]
2017 Tomorrowland, Belgium [31]
Sziget Festival, Budapest [32]

Special events[edit]

Dim Mak has an established history of producing special events at key music conferences such as SXSW and Miami Music Week. Also in 2006 and 2007, Dim Mak produced a medium-scaled music festival in Los Angeles called "Neighborhood".

Year Event title Ref.
2004 CMJ [33][34]
2005 CMJ
2006 CMJ
Neighborhood [35]
2007 Neighborhood
SXSW [36]
2009 SXSW [37]
2010 SXSW
2011 Miami
SXSW
2012 Miami [38]
SXSW
2013 Miami [39]
SXSW [40]
2014 Miami [41][42]
SXSW [43]
2015 Miami [44]
SXSW [45]
2016 Miami [46]
Amsterdam Dance Event [47]
2017 Miami [48]
2018 Miami [49]
Dim Mak Neighborhood - Brookyln NYC [50]

20th anniversary tour[edit]

In 2016, Dim Mak commemorated its 20-year anniversary with 20 events around the world.

Date Venue Ref.
March 17, 2016 Miami [51]
March 19, 2016 SXSW [52]
April 23, 2016 Atlanta [53]
June 10, 2016 Chicago [54]
June 29, 2016 Ibiza [55]
July 27, 2016 Malta [56]
August 17, 2016 Mallorca [57]
August 18, 2016 Barcelona [58]
September 3, 2016 New York #1 [59]
September 3, 2016 New York #2 [60]
September 4, 2016 Las Vegas [61]
September 16, 2016 Montreal [62]
September 24, 2016 Scottsdale [63]
October 23, 2016 Amsterdam [64]
October 30, 2016 Tampa Bay [65]
November 18, 2016 San Francisco [66]
November 19, 2016 Newport Beach [67]
November 29, 2016 Los Angeles [68]
December 8, 2016 Maui [69]
December 9, 2016 Oahu [70]

Clothing & accessories[edit]

In 2014, Dim Mak Collection[71] was launched. From its launch Dim Mak has been worn by celebrities and influencers including Gucci Mane, Migos, David Guetta and Bella Thorne and has been featured in The New York Times,[72] Vogue[73] among others.

In addition to the proprietary Dim Mak Collection has collaborated with other influential clothing and accessory brands on limited edition collections. Those are listed as:

Year Brand Ref.
2008 WESC [74]
2009 55DSL [75][76]
Diesel
Parra [77][78]
2012 Han Cholo [79]
2016 RVCA [80][81]
Sol Republic [82]
Drew Merritt [83]
2017 Converse [84]
CYRCLE [85]
David Choe [86]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]